Nominated by his friend and a past citizen of the year, Wallie Sears says Acton has worked in a number of ways over the years to help improve the quality of life in the Sackville (New Brunswick) area.
First off, of course, is Acton’s contributions to the annual farm field day during the community’s Fall Fair.
Sears says the overwhelming success of the annual agricultural field day is due, in large part, to Acton’s commitment to the event. As chair, Acton has led a large group of volunteers in making the event one of the most popular of its kind in the Maritimes.
As a close colleague of the late Bud Doncaster, who founded the farm field day, Acton continues to carry on the fine work of his friend in maintaining and enhancing the field day, providing opportunities for young people to learn more about food production as well as offering an ever-widening variety of educational and entertainment opportunities.
Lou Lambe, a former citizen of the year and long-time member of the field day committee, says he has nothing but respect for Acton and gives him most of the credit for keeping the event going and developing new and inventive components to add every year.
Florence Doncaster says that Acton is totally dedicated to the project and to Bud's memory and knows exactly what to do, having come from a farming background.
"He is just great,” she says,” and he has been able to work with the family all these years to keep Bud's dream alive."
But the field day is just one of the ways in which Acton has contributed as a "nearly full time volunteer."
For more than four years, Acton has worked diligently as a member of the Vision Building Committee of the Sackville United Church. This group explored endless ways to save the building, meeting hundreds of times with architects, engineers, contractors and, finally, developers.
Acton also worked on the proposed Tantramar Agri-Plex and was a member of the steering committee for the Tantramar Commons initiative.
Acton also served a term as a member of the former civic centre board of directors and chairman John Higham says he was someone whom the board could rely on to make the tough decisions.
Higham says, "He was one member who could envision the greater role the civic centre should play and was great to work with."
Higham also worked with Acton in various other capacities over the past 20 years and says he has been a tireless volunteer who has given of his time and energy to contribute to the community and to the agriculture sector in the area.
He says Acton has been instrumental in building the agricultural field day into a "must-see" event enjoyed by thousands from the region.
“This town is a better place for the efforts of Derrick Acton,” he wrote in his letter of support for Acton’s nomination.
The annual Sackville Citizen of the Year award is sponsored and presented by the Sackville Lions Club.
Sackville Tribune Post